If you live in Minnesota, chances are you have experienced lawn frost at one time or another. When your lawn isn’t covered in snow, it’s bound to experience this frozen phenomenon at times during the winter. Frost typically occurs on clear nights when the grass is colder than the surrounding air. Below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, lawn dew freezes and leaves your yard looking like a field of ice. When frost is on the grass, you may be tempted to do something about it. In this case, that is not the best course of action. A thin layer of frost will not damage your lawn on it’s own. It takes an outside force to cause serious damage – an outside force like you.
As soon as you step foot on frosty grass, you risk damaging it. The blades are frozen solid, so with enough pressure, they will snap them into pieces. Even lightly tiptoeing across the grass is enough to hurt your lawn. The cells in the leaves simply shatter with enough force. The effect is so extreme that you may see well-defined brown spots where you applied pressure later in the season. Unless you want a yard full of footprints, it’s best to stay off. The whole family should be aware of the risks. Curious children are sometimes drawn to crunchy lawns like moths to a flame.
As soon as temperatures rise to levels that melt the frost, it is safe to walk on the grass again. Your lawn is most likely to have frost early in the morning, so be extra careful during this time of day. The sun usually does a good job melting all the frozen blades in the afternoon. Grass is much more pliable and durable when temperatures rise above freezing. It’s strange to think such a small factor can make such a big difference! You could even drive on it without causing too much damage, although we don’t recommend it.
Any seeding you did in the fall will not be affected by frost. Unlike temperature, light, and moisture, frost cannot cause permanent damage that prevents germination. It’s a temporary event that only becomes a problem with human interaction. Spring is right around the corner – take precautions now that will pay off when the grass blooms. Contact our team if you ever have any questions about preparing your lawn for the growing season. Now is the time to start planning for the summer!